Probably the best known “Bono” in the world is U2’s lead singer. For people of a certain age, Cher’s former partner Sonny Bono would rank up there too. National Pro Bono Week has nothing to do with celebrating either of those entertainers, though. Instead, it’s designed to promote awareness of a sub-branch of law called “pro bono” where lawyers, in recognition of the importance of people from all walks of life having access to quality legal advice to deal with challenging circumstances in their lives, donate their professional services to assist those who would be otherwise unable to afford a lawyer.
In 2008, Saskatchewan became the fourth jurisdiction to establish a formal body to coordinate the delivery of pro bono legal services. Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan is a non-profit organization. It currently has 283 volunteers, and in 2012 it provided free legal advice via appointment to 1213 clients and free legal representation to 96 clients.
I’ve written about one of those instances a few times — the case an injured worker has been pursuing against the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board to get it to cover the cost of the medicinal cannabis that he has been successfully using for over 10 years to control spasms associated with a painful back injury.
Anyway, Oct. 20-26 marks National Pro Bono Week. The week will culminate with a “Call In Day” on Saturday, Oct. 26. It’s being co-sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association, and will see volunteer lawyers staff phones from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to provide free legal information to callers. To access this service, people are directed to call the toll free line 1-855-833-7257.
So if you have a legal issue of some sort that you’d like some insight into feel free to call. You can find out more about Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan here. And to close, here’s video of U2 performing “Where The Streets Have No Name” from the Vertigo tour in Chicago in 2005: